I did an 'apt-get remove' on a whole bunch of packages including zip, curl, libx11-dev, libglib2.0-dev, etc. and, after I did that, nearly all of my applications have silently disappeared (I believe that that is what caused it although I'm not 100%... I also uninstalled my python installation and did some other stuff before I finally went to go and open a program [terminal] and found that most of my programs were gone including ubuntu software center, etc... basically nearly everything). Does anyone know what may have caused this or, better, how to refresh everything? (no, I didn't create a restore point :-( ) Or, am I hosed?

closed as off-topic by Mateo, Kaz Wolfe, Eric Carvalho, mikewhatever, αғsнιη Oct 7 '14 at 8:11

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This describes a problem that can't be reproduced that seemingly went away on its own or was only relevant to a very specific period of time. It's off-topic as it's unlikely to help future readers." – Mateo, Kaz Wolfe, Eric Carvalho, mikewhatever, αғsнιη
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


Software-center depends on python. you may want to try installing (or reinstalling) the ubuntu-desktop meta package, this should get you back basic essentials,

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

if it is allready insalled remove it ( sudo apt-get remove ubuntu-desktop ) then install it, don't worry it's a meta package, that is used to install and update a set of packages, What exactly is in ubuntu-desktop?

  • Unfortunately, I can't test out your solution - see my comment to 'warl0ck' above - and so I can't vote up or accept your solution as valid as it may be :/ Thank you for your response and sorry! – fatfreddyscat Jun 14 '12 at 17:33

That's easy to recover ;-P

First , find out all what you just removed by:

grep remove /var/log/dpkg.log

And re-install things needed by

sudo apt-get install XX

Don't care about dependencies , just find the packages you need , they will be installed automatically.

  • :/ So, prior to your response, I went ahead and created a new image and a new install (different virtual machine) so that I could get my work done. Unfortunately, when I went back to try to load the other image, it had gotten stuck in some booting phase and I was never able to boot into it again and try your solution so, unfortunately, I can't vote up or accept as I can't test it out (even though I imagine it would work and I thank you for your response!!)... :/ – fatfreddyscat Jun 14 '12 at 17:32

Your programs weren't 'silently' removed. Packages in Ubuntu have 'dependencies', other packages that need to be installed for them to function properly. The Ubuntu Software Centre depends on Python, so when you uninstalled Python, Software Centre was also removed because it wouldn't have worked without its dependencies.

apt-get does warn you when it's going to remove packages like this. Next time you're removing things with apt-get remove, read over the lists of packages that are going to be removed. Any extra packages that will be uninstalled that you didn't specify will be listed under a heading like "The following extra packages will be uninstalled:". Pay attention to exactly what apt-get is going to do, and you should be able to avoid future catastrophes.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.